STATEMENT FOR RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY
Cardinal Justin F. Rigali
Chairman, USCCB Committee on Pro-life Activities
September 29, 2009

Respect Life Sunday, this year celebrated on October 4th is a day set aside for Catholics in the United States to reflect with gratitude on God’s priceless gift of human life. It is also an occasion to examine how well we, as a nation and individually, are living up to our obligation to protect the rights of those who, due to age, dependency, poverty or other circumstances, are at risk of their very lives.

In the current debate over health care reform, it has become evident that a number of Americans believe that the lives and health of only some people are worth safeguarding, while other classes of people are viewed as not deserving the same protection. Such an attitude is deplorable, all the more so in the context of health care. Sanctioning discrimination in the quality of care given to different groups of people has no place in medicine, and directly contravenes the ethical norms under which Catholic hospitals and health care providers operate.

**IMPORTANT!** Please read this message in its entirety and take action immediately!!

In a direct attack on 40 Days for Life and the rights of local pro-life sidewalk counselors, the Chicago City Council on Wednesday passed a new ordinance intended to cripple 40 Days for Life and silence pro- life free speech within a 50 foot “Bubble Zone” around abortion facilities.

The new city ordinance will not only block sidewalk counseling and pro-life signs within 50 feet of all entrances to an abortion facility, it would also prevent any pro-lifer from being within eight feet of an abortion customer without getting that person’s permission. Anyone found in violation could be fined up to $500.

On October 20th, people from all over this nation will give up their voices for a day in solidarity for these children. Red arm bands and duct tape will identify them as taking part in the Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity. They will carry fliers explaining why they are silent and educate others about the plight of the innocent children we are losing every day.

For more information go to http://www.silentday.org/

“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

In our world today many look down on the homeless and those who live in our streets.  One might say they are the Samaritans of our age.  Today’s gospel reading was about the good Samaritan and here on the streets of Pensacola a   REAL GOOD SAMARITAN taught us a valuable lesson.  Our Good Samaritan was walking by the Community Healthcare Center of Pensacola, stopped and noticed an African American couple getting out of their vehicle to enter the abortion facility.  He called out to the couple, ” Why don’t you give your child a chance to live before killing him?”   The man and woman looked at the Samaritan, with tears in their eyes (probably realizing that their state in life was not so bad that they could not afford their child), left the abortion clinic and a child’s life is saved.  All because one GOOD SAMARITAN did not just pass by, but stopped and reached out with words of truth and love.

Thank you GOOD SAMARITAN, you humble us with your selflessness

During the rosary and immediately after asking God that the Holy Spirit will touch the hearts of the people in the clinic to change their mind about abortion I saw the young woman in the white Acura wave and smile as she was driven away from the clinic.   B said he read her lips and she said “I kept my baby.”  This was in response to his blessing of her with a sign of the cross!
A baby lives because of her decision for life!  Helping women to see their baby as truly “my baby” instead of as “my problem” or “it” is so important. The witness at the clinic helps do that.

Join us this Sunday (Respect Life Sunday), October 4th, from 7 – 8 PM for a candlelight vigil as we pray in front of the Community Healthcare Center of Pensacola (6770 North 9th Avenue).  The special intention for this vigil is for the conversion of the hearts and minds of the abortionists, staff, and volunteers of the two abortion facilities in Pensacola.  We pray that they might come to know the LORD OF LIFE, Jesus Christ.  Help bring the light of Christ to the darkness that these poor souls work in each day at the Community Healthcare Center of Pensacola and AMS of Pensacola abortion facilities.

Here is the first hand account about the mother who chose life today!  Praise God!

Great story to share with you from today after you and your family left. Do you remember the white Acura that pulled into the abortion clinic today (the one with the older woman driving who flipped us the finger as she drove past us with a young girl in the passenger seat)? Well later that morning, as I was saying a rosary on the sidewalk facing the street and not the clinic, the white Acura pulled out from the abortion clinic. For some reason I looked up from my prayer and saw the car pulling out. I immediately made eye contact with the young girl and gave her a compassionate look and blessed her with a sign of the cross as she was driving by. Her eyes immediately lit up and she smiled at me. Looking back at me she was happily patting her tummy and mouthed the words “I kept my baby!” as they drove away. I fist pumped a “yes!” in the middle of the rosary and startled others praying with me who asked what happened. I told them and we were so happy! It made all the time we collectively spent at the clinic today well worth while. She looked to be about 17, unfortunately she was the only happy face we saw leave the clinic today. I can’t begin to imagine the courage she showed inside the clinic today, especially with the pressure I’m sure she received from the “Driver” of the car and the clinic. God Bless, and another baby saved!!

The power of prayer!  The power of community witness!  All the more reason to go and peacefully pray, fast, and stand as a witness for life!  What are you waiting for?  Lives are depending on you.

May the peace of Christ be with you!

Today, many vigil participants witnessed a young woman, accompanied by her angry mother, walk out of the 9th avenue mill to save the life of her baby!  The young woman passed by the 40 Days for Life prayer volunteers with a big smile.  She stated she was keeping her baby!  Praise God!  Keep up the prayers.  Keep going to the 9th Avenue mill in prayer.  Miracles are happening.

If Only for a Moment (a poem of healing)

They didn’t tell me you had a beating heart; they told me you were a mass of tissue.

They didn’t tell me I would cry for you 24-years later, they told me it was nothing-you were nothing.

The room was cold-so-so cold.

Just relax, they said, there’s nothing to it.

Staring in silence-screaming inside with no place to hide, nowhere to run.

Relax I say, soon you will be out having fun. Life went on-for me that is.

Would it matter if I told you your father and I married?

Is that any consolation? How many pregnancies, how many live births?

The question stings, I wonder if acid would soothe the burn.

Then one day I heard your sister’s heartbeat for the very first time;

You were just her age when yours beat for the very last time.

What have I done? In an instant, you were real.

Would it make a difference if I told you I mourn for you still?

My Lord is gracious, forgiving and kind He took you in His arms when I chose not to hold you in mine.

One hope I hold dear to my heart; that my Lord Jesus would grant me one wish-one delight.

To hold you in my arms if only for a moment and feel the love of both of you.